My Top 5 Musts For Success In Bodybuilding

RJ Perkins
Written By: RJ Perkins
November 24th, 2010
Updated: June 13th, 2020
11.1K Reads
My Top 5 Musts For Success In Bodybuilding
Natural pro bodybuilder and Scivation sponsored athlete RJ Perkins talks about the importance of passion, drive, determination, dedication and patience.

It is coming up on a full three years since I have dedicated a part of my life to the sport of natural bodybuilding. I have loved every second of it and truly have a neverending fire that burns for this sport. In this short amount of time I have truly had great and early success. I have competed in two shows, one in September 2008 (won my divisions) and most recently October 2010 (won the overall and became a IFPA Pro). Also in this short amount of time I have become a sponsored athlete with Scivation.

I have been truly blessed in this sport so far and am grateful for everything I have achieved. I have done a few interviews, get emails, and receive messages asking me how I obtained such a great amount of success in a short amount of time. So I have decided to share with everyone what “I” personally feel has lead to my current success in the time frame I have achieved it in. And I would love to share this with you whether you are a true beginner or seasoned vet.

1. Passion

A lot of people can lift weights, diet, do this and that, hop on stage and call themselves a bodybuilder. The difference between a real athlete and a want to be is “PASSION.” Passion is a must if you want to be successful in this sport, and life in general. A way to show and be passionate is to get involved with the sport outside your own personal needs. What I mean is to get on the boards/forums and support other athletes, get involved with answering and asking questions, get out there and network with your fellow athletes.

Another way is to go to local shows, or shows in other states, and support the venues/competitions and their promoters and athletes. Read and research, broaden your knowledge of the sport and learn new training methods. Practice dieting, experiment with supplementation and find out what works for you. The number one thing I feel you can do and show your passion is “promoting” the sport. A lot of people out there do not know enough about the sport or have no interest because not a lot of people properly promote and spread the word about the sport and its local athletes and shows.

2. Drive

It's one thing to say that you want to be a bodybuilder and compete, and another to have the “DRIVE” to truly be a bodybuilder. I have heard and seen guys get so deep into their diets, where it is 3 or 4 weeks before their show, and they throw in the towel. All that hard work, time, effort, energy, money, etc. wasted and gone. You truly need to have the self drive, and force yourself to not miss your training sessions, not skip cardio, and measure and keep track of all your dieting and supplementation.

No one else is going to do it for you. No one else is going to make you do anything you do not want to, and like a famous phrase I once heard “you are your maker”. Only you can get you where you want to be, and to what you want to achieve. The question you have to ask yourself is what are you willing to do and endure in order to be the best at this sport, no matter how physically and mentally draining it is.

What separates the weak from the obsolete is pure determination.

3. Determination

The best way I can sum up determination is that it is like an endurance marathon. How long, and how far are you willing to endure the things that come with bodybuilding? This sport is very repetitive and a neverending circle. What I mean is that if you want to be a true bodybuilder, get use to eating a lot of the same foods, carrying a cooler around everywhere you go, measuring and weighing every piece of food that you put into your body, eating “your” food while everyone is eating burgers and fries. Get use to being asked “what are you eating”, “why are you eating that”, and on and on and on.

What separates the weak from the obsolete is pure “DETERMINATION.” No matter how far you reach to the top, or even how long you drop to the bottom, you should always be determined to achieve even higher heights and overcome the deepest of the lows. Never let anyone or anything stop you from being the athlete you see yourself being/becoming. Keep pushing and move forward, don’t stop, keep chugging, that is the true meaning behind it all.

4. Dedication

A lot of people simply think that you are only a bodybuilder when you are in the gym. Wrong! Being a bodybuilder means you are a bodybuilder 24/7 and 365 days a year. Don't get me wrong, depending on if you are in season or off-season we do find ways to feel and live a some hat normal life. Though there is nothing normal about our lives and our style of living, it is the tried and the true that keep and stick to the dedicated plan that go and make it far in this sport.

There will be times when you will feel that all your hard work and dedication may not be getting you anywhere. Whether it's changes in your physique, or placing lower than you expected at a show, you have to get over that mental hump and stick with what has gotten you to where you are at. As long as it is on a positive end.

Patience is the hardest obstacle.5. Patience

I have yet to meet any one who has full grasped and mastered the art of “PATIENCE”. Hands down this is going to be the hardest obstacle, and the biggest thing you will need to overcome, especially if you are competing as a natural athlete. Bodybuilding requires time, whether you start at 16 or you begin at 55. To achieve the results you want requires a lot of patience. You have to be patient with your training, you have to be patient with your dieting, and most of all you have to be patient with yourself. At one point or another there will be roadblocks in your bodybuilding life just as there are roadblocks in your true life (work, home, family, etc.). Maybe you haven’t received the promotion you applied for, or maybe you are waiting for some other important news. The key to these things are to have patience and let the cards fall as they may. This does not truly mean you have to accept it, because you can always do something about it. Remain patient in the lessons learned, and the process you have been going through. Try to remember the old saying “all good things come to those who wait”.

chris dodd
Posted on: Sun, 01/08/2012 - 18:02

Hi there, been training for 8 months now and of this ive been using your PHD4 for 3. Just like to say its an awesome programme, ive seen great gains even in a short space of time, and my squat, dead , and bench are progressing well, especially my dead.cheers, Chris.

My ethos:

" Obstacles are things you see when you loose sight of your goals "

- James Riemer.

Posted on: Mon, 01/09/2012 - 10:54

Thank you very much for the feed back and very honored you are running my regimen to achieve your physical goals. If you have any questions do feel free to reach out to me, keep on the grind and keep at it day in and day out, again thank you so much for the feedback and support!

chris dodd
Posted on: Mon, 01/09/2012 - 11:44

will do, thanks again.

Posted on: Sat, 01/22/2011 - 12:08

Dear RJ,
You have no idea how much impact you have on my weight lifting career just by reading this article. I am indeed facing many various road blocks but this article lifts my spirits high and keeps me going. I am only 15 by the way!

Thank you so much sir!


RJ Perkins
Posted on: Sat, 01/22/2011 - 21:32

Thank do much dude truy means alot to mean knowing I can have such an impact on people especially the younger generation such as yourself. We all go through trials and tribulations but its when we face them and move forward which build our character. Thanks so much again!

Posted on: Fri, 12/10/2010 - 09:26

thats what i needed to hear i been suck at about 200 and just looking for some good workouts to raise that. ive been working hard but just cant move anything. im 5'6 126. do u have any tips?

RJ Perkins
Posted on: Sat, 12/11/2010 - 13:49

Shoot me an email

Chris O
Posted on: Wed, 12/08/2010 - 13:33

I just want to say amazing well written article it was really motivating hearing what you got to say about weightlifting. I use weightlifting as a release/stress reliever for me. I been through a lot in my life, but I'm not hear to tell about my problems. I just want to say you nailed it by saying passion,drive,determination,dedication,patience is key to successes of becoming a bodybuilder/athlete, one of the most truthful things I've heard about weightlifting. Your article really motivated me more of getting where i want to go considering a lot of problems are trying to delay me. Thanks for sharing RJ (sorry for grammar)

RJ Perkins
Posted on: Thu, 12/09/2010 - 15:23

Well I am very happy t hear that you enjoyed the article that much and can bring you that much inspiration/motivation. Hey I have been through a lot as well but always faced my adversities head on so I encourage you to do the same, do what you can to take control of your life and problems but do understand you don't always have to let your problems stop you. Keep your head high and keep moving forward!

Posted on: Tue, 12/07/2010 - 13:02

Great Article RJ, spoken like a true bodybuilder. If you dont mind me asking, what are you measurements? height, weight? competition weight, offseason weight. whats the highest you let your bodyfat get to in the offseason? Look great in your pics! I'm in my offseason and trying to add some mass, but dont want to dirty bulk.
thanks in advance!

RJ Perkins
Posted on: Thu, 12/09/2010 - 15:21

Thank you sir much appreciated! I am 5'8" right now 183 lbs. I was 171 lbs when I stepped on stage for my show back in Oct, and I really do not want to go past 190lbs I wanna keep the gains as lean as possible but not sacrifice strength. Ummmmm my goal is to keep it in a 9 - 10% range so that I can suffer less during prep. Thanks the Mrs. took some great shots, yeah dirty bulking is no bueno i did that last off season and paid a major price for it!

jay ayala
Posted on: Mon, 11/29/2010 - 21:59

do you take any supps?

RJ Perkins
Posted on: Tue, 11/30/2010 - 09:36

Yup, anything Betancourt Nutrition makes I use in my supplement regimen :)

Posted on: Mon, 11/29/2010 - 18:21

Great article RJ. You've got it right and I think you are saying what a lot of people don't want to hear. Patience, dedication, drive and determination,the four horsemen of success. Grueling, uncomfortable,lonely and painful are also ways to describe the riggers of training. Lets not put a shine on it. Get to the gym, work as hard as you can and more, stay away from the stuff that can kill you, even though it speeds up the process, and be grateful for what comes your way.
Thanks again for sharing RJ.

RJ Perkins
Posted on: Tue, 11/30/2010 - 09:36

Dang I think you just summed up my article in those few sentences lol. The thing about the real world is people do not like to hear the grueling truth, like they say though "the truth shall set you free" and hopefully this article finds more people who are possibly missing some of these key points in their regimens.

Emily Wilson-Cobb
Posted on: Mon, 11/29/2010 - 18:15

I am so glad I found your article today. I was just thinking how disappointing is that I am not seeing the results I had hoped for at this point.I realize it is not an overnight transformation, but I was at least thinking that there would be more muscle growth and more body fat loss by now. I will just keep at it and practice patience and wait for the results to come.

RJ Perkins
Posted on: Tue, 11/30/2010 - 09:34

I am glad this article could help, we all get wrapped up in quick results, and when I mean ALL I mean AAALLL. I myself still find myself looking for over night results as well. It is a matter of practice and continuing to develop "patience" I know your results will come and look forward to hearing about them keep me posted

Posted on: Mon, 11/29/2010 - 18:01

Awesome article. I'm going to print it out and put it next to my bed so I can be reminded of these important factors every morning!! It not only applies to bodybuilding, but many, if not ALL facets of life as well.


RJ Perkins
Posted on: Tue, 11/30/2010 - 09:31

Sick very excited you like it that much, and I truly agree this applies not only to bb'ing but to life in general, keep at it and really hoping you reach your goals!

RJ Perkins
Posted on: Wed, 11/24/2010 - 13:12

I loved putting this article together, hope people can take away at least one thing away from it :)